Five Marquette University soccer players began their summer break by traveling to Alabama after final exams in May to help Habitat for Humanity rebuild a home for the Nero family after their house was destroyed in a tornado. [photo gallery]
Charlie Lyon, Eric Pothast, Bryan Ciesiulka, Maggie Edlebeck and Jacie Jermier were out of school less than a week before traveling to Tuscaloosa to assist tornado victims Pam and John Nero with the rebuilding project.
"They have obviously been through a lot over the past year," Pothast said of the Nero's, "and it was a great way to kick off our summers. You could tell how grateful they were and it really was a great way for us to give back and be ambassadors for both Marquette University as well as Marquette Soccer."
According to Edlebeck, John Nero was nearly pulled through the roof by the very twister that leveled his home, and his wife helped save his live by holding onto him as the tornado touched down overhead. The Nero's story was also re-told by The Crimson White.
"We spent the week installing tile and wood floors, building a handicap railing, building shelves, graveling the foundation, painting and so many more projects," Edlebeck recalls. "It was tough work, especially with the Alabama heat, and we were drained after working for nine hours each day.
"The trip was a week we'll never forget and made us all feel so blessed to have a roof over our heads."